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Some of our most popular categories include Galapagos Islands animals, diving and About Galapagos Islands. Check out all our posts.

What Can You See Island Hopping in the Galapagos?

If you are deciding between a cruise and a land-based tour, one of the most important considerations is what animals you can see.

Going on a cruise will take you to farther-flung, remote places in the archipelago. Staying on land gives you an opportunity to see the “real Galapagos,” SCUBA dive, and come back to a comfortable hotel room at the end of the day. This video shows the highlights of time on a land tour, and staying in a hotel in the Galapagos.


Where I Went

I took the Darwins Footprints tour with Red Mangrove, a hotel-based tour that took me to sites on Santa Cruz and Isabela. I also took a SCUBA diving tour at North Seymour for a day. I stayed several extra nights in the hotel and explored places within walking and taxi distance independently – downtown Puerto Ayora, Las Grietas swimming hole, Tortuga Bay, Playa de la Estacion on Santa Cruz, and Laguna Salinas on Isabela.


Animals I Saw While Island-Hopping in the Galapagos

As you see, the Galapagos never ceases to amaze. You can never exactly predict what you will see, because wildlife varies so much by season and luck. Nonetheless, you can see how many different animals I have seen island-hopping. Not all of these made it into the video, but you can get an idea.

  • Giant tortoisesP1013999
  • Marine iguanas
  • A land iguana
  • Lava lizards
  • Sally light-foot crabs
  • Geckos
  • Blue-footed boobies and Nazca boobies
  • Pelicansslide109
  • Frigate birds
  • Tons of different types of finches
  • Flamingos
  • Galapagos Penguins
  • More tropical fish than I can name
  • Sea turtles
  • Stingrays, eagle rays, golden rays, and manta rays
  • White-tipped reef sharks
  • Sea lions

Video highlights of my trip

Which animals do you most want to see on your Galapagos vacation? Please share by commenting on this post.

About the author: Lisa Cho Lisa Cho is an expat living in Ecuador, originally from San Francisco, California. She writes about the Galapagos Islands on the Red Mangrove Galapagos Travel Blog and about her mainland Ecuador adventures on

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